Shares of Tesla Motors, the electric carmaker from Palo Alto, Calif., are selling for $18 on the Nasdaq in their first day of trading. Tesla is the first American car company to go public since Ford Motor Co. started selling its shares publicly in 1956.
In Delaware, Tesla’s initial public offering is being closely watched because of what it might say about the future of Fisker Automotive, the budding carmaker that plans to build two lines of plug-in hybrids at GM’s shuttered Boxwood Road plant near Newport. (In other news, a bankruptcy court judge was expected to approve the sale of that plant to Fisker for $20 million at a hearing this morning. The sale should close in the next couple weeks.)
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Wayne Kimmel, a Fisker investor at SeventySix Capital in Philadelphia, expected Tesla’s IPO would help “validate the market” for Fisker, which has yet to deliver a car.
Tesla priced its 13.3 million-share offering at $17 a share Monday night, above the expected range of $14 to $16. Shares opened even higher, at $19. Tesla is selling 11.1 million shares with current shareholders offering the balance.